Ismail Shammout was born in 1930 in Lydda,
Palestine. His family sought refuge in Khan Yunis after the
Nakba. He studied at Cairo’s Fine Arts College and at Rome’s
Fine Arts Academy. He was appointed in 1965 as head of the
PLO’s fine arts department, and obtained a special Palestine
Award in 1997. Shammout has exhibited widely throughout the
Shammout is considered to be a founder of modern Palestinian
visual arts, holding the first stand-alone art exhibit in
Gaza City in 1953. He is a prolific and consistent painter
of realistic scenes of the Palestinian tragedy and struggle:
The Nakba, the exodus of refugees, civilians’ massacres, the
rise of resistance and the Fedayeen, as well as idyllic
depictions of Palestinian rural life. Many of his works are
widely reproduced in Palestinian publications, and became
domestic icons of sorts. Shammout has been experimenting
with computer art. He has written extensively on Palestinian
For more information on Ismail Shammout, and to contact the
artist go to:
in the city of Lydda, Palestine.
to abandon his birthplace and take refuge in a refugee camp
in Khan-Younes, Gaza Strip.
in the College of Fine Arts in Cairo.
his first exhibition in the town of Gaza, (29th
July 1953) the first exhibition ever to be held by a
Palestinian artist in Palestine (his brother, Jamil, took
part in this exhibition).
his major exhibition in Cairo,with the participation of the
Palestinian artist Tamam Aref Al-Akhal, a colleague then,
and currently his wife. The exhibition was sponsored and
inaugurated by Egyptian President
on the 21st July 1954.
Moved to Italy and joined the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome.
Beirut, Lebanon, where he lived and worked in various
artistic and cultural endeavors.
Married his artist colleague, Mss. Tamam Al-Akhal.
Joined the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), as
Director of Arts and National Culture.
as first Secretary General, Union of Palestinian Artists.
as first Secretary General, Union of Arab Artists.
from Beirut to Kuwait with his family, following the Israeli
aggression against the PLO in Lebanon.
Cologne, Germany, following the Gulf war.
in Amman, Jordan, where the artist currently resides.
Ismail Shammout has the following publications:
The Young Artist,
Palestine, Illustrated Political
(1972), various languages.
Palestinian National Art,
(1978), various languages.
Palestine in Perspective,
(1978), Arabic & English.
Art in Palestine,
(1989), Arabic & English.